African Europeans: An Untold History
African Europeans: An Untold HistoryAlso available bargain edition
A dazzling history of Africans in Europe, revealing their unacknowledged role in shaping the continent
One of the Best History Books of 2021 — SmithsonianConventional wisdom holds that Africans are only a recent presence in Europe. But in African Europeans, renowned historian Olivette Otele debunks this and uncovers a long history of Europeans of African descent. From the third century, when the Egyptian Saint Maurice became the leader of a Roman legion, all the way up to the present, Otele explores encounters between those defined as "Africans" and those called "Europeans." She gives equal attention to the most prominent figures—like Alessandro de Medici, the first duke of Florence thought to have been born to a free African woman in a Roman village—and the untold stories—like the lives of dual-heritage families in Europe's coastal trading towns. African Europeans is a landmark celebration of this integral, vibrantly complex slice of European history, and will redefine the field for years to come.
Olivette Otele is distinguished research professor at SOAS University of London and former vice president of the Royal Historical Society. She is the first Black woman to be appointed to a professorial chair in history in the UK, and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the BBC’s History Extra, and Times Higher Education.